23 March 2016

Review: Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Alan Cumyn
Format: ARC - thanks Simon & Schuster CA! 
Pages: 304
My Rating: 6/10

Summary (thanks Goodreads): Prepare to be blown away—or rather, carried away on huge muscular wings—by this blissfully outlandish, bracingly-smart, tour de force about a teen who has to come to terms with relinquishing control for the first time as she falls for the hot new…pterodactyl…at school. After all, everybody wants him!

Sheils is very pleased with her perfectly controlled life (controlling others while she’s at it). She’s smart, powerful, the Student Body Chair, and she even has a loving boyfriend. What more could a girl ask for?

But everything changes when the first-ever interspecies transfer student, a pterodactyl named Pyke, enrolls at her school. There’s something about him—something primal—that causes the students to lose control whenever he’s around. Even Sheils, the seemingly perfect self-confident girl that she is, can’t keep her mind off of him, despite her doting boyfriend and despite the fact that Pyke immediately starts dating Jocelyn, the school’s fastest runner who Sheils has always discounted as a nobody.

Pyke, hugely popular in a school whose motto is to embrace differences, is asked to join a band, and when his band plays at the Autumn Whirl dance, his preternatural shrieking music sends everyone into a literal frenzy. No one can remember what happened the next day, but Shiels learns that she danced far too long with Pyke, her nose has turned purple, and she may have done something with her boyfriend that she shouldn’t have. Who’s in control now?

Hilarious and relatable (despite the dinosaur), Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend is about a teen who must come to terms with not being in control of all things at all times, break free of her mundane life, discover who her true self is, and, oh, finding out that going primal isn’t always a bad thing

My Thoughts: Have you ever just sat back and wondered what you'd get if you took a little contemporary, and then threw in some dinosaurs? Like, maybe, you're reading Twilight, and you're just so annoyed with Bella (because, let's face it, she does annoying things), that you kinda really want a dinosaur to come in and mix things up? I mean, who doesn't? While Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend doesn't exactly fit that description, it definitely takes contemporary and takes some dinosaurs and creates this fantastically weird, and funny, novel. 

So, I think that one of my favourite things about this book is it's title. A) Because I finally learned how to spell Pterodactyl (I did that with my eyes closed but I'll never be able to prove it), and B) Who isn't going to immediately grab this book and go.... wait, what? Add that with the cover - which I love and it stands out so well on my book shelf - and you got yourself a winner at the book store. 

This definitely not a serious book - it's light, and funny, and a supremely quick read. I sat down to start reading, and I didn't stop until I was finished. It was one of those "I can't put this down because I have literally no idea where this story" is going type of deals.  The characters were funny enough, and definitely original. I particularly liked Sheils, I connected with her a weird amount (especially considering she falls in love... with you know... a literal dinosaur).
It held my interest the entire time, and even though I probably wouldn't re-read it, I'd recommend it to people with dry senses of humour. There's a lot of satirizing taking place, especially about the YA genre (their meeting gave me some Twilight feels), so if you're about that life, this is another good one to check out. 

Also, fellow Canadian's: this book is for you. It's one of those books that actually get the weird things us Canadian's say and do, and of course, there is a moose cameo. What more can you want? Dinosaurs and moose is all you need. 
Final Thoughts: Probably, no - definitely - the most original and unique book I've read this year. If you're intrigued by that description (and, I ask again, who isn't), definitely check this one out! 

Follow along with the rest of the tour here! 

*** Thanks again Simon & Schuster CA for having me be apart of this tour!*** 

7 March 2016

Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 528
Rating: 8.5 out of 10 (I know we aren't supposed to do this half nonsense, sorry)

Summary (I use Goodreads all the time): Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, have known each other since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36, married when Clare 23 and Henry 31. Impossible but true. Because Henry unintentionally jumps in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity, past and future. His experiences can be harrowing or amusing.

What I Think: This story was as unique as it seems. Now, I watch Doctor Who, so I understood some of the issues with time travelling but this book still hurt my head at times. It made me think way too much about the concerns one would have if they were to time travel. Can the future be changed when you are in the past or has it already happened? Try not to think too hard about it or you will be mad at me. I spent the whole novel thinking about it and it was killing me.

I knew something big had to happen near the end to the story and, because the whole story was about time travel, if you pay attention, you are able to find little bits of foreshadowing throughout the whole book and sort of put it together. Of course, I wasn't able to figure out how sad it would make me. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I might have teared up a little bit...or a lot...I'll never admit it. Since we are on the subject, I have to admit to you that I was exceedingly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel. That sounds rude but I read it, almost, because it seemed like some cultural thing I had to take part in or something. I don't know but I didn't want to read it. I'm so glad I did. What an emotional rollercoaster.

Honestly, the only problem that I had with this novel, which is not the novel's fault at all, is that I'm too young to get all the cultural references. During the majority of when this novel takes place, I wasn't alive. Yet, since the novel is modern still, the author didn't feel the need to really explain most references (they would have been out of place anyway). I understand that it was a lose-lose but I still didn't understand some of the jokes (I assume that some of the references were meant to be funny). If I was like fifteen years older this might not have been an issue for me. It wasn't enough to make the novel suck, as seen by my high rating, but it still made me a little bit sad to be missing out on something. 

Anyway, here is another movie that I have to see and another book that I will probably reread in the future. This novel made me laugh and almost made me cry and it was just great. I think that maybe 35+ readers will get more out of it but I quite enjoyed it nonetheless. It's a great romance story and the time travel thing is pretty cool. Just make sure you pay attention to when the time is changing. I caught myself flipping back in order to figure out where in the time line I was reading. It was work but worth it. It's a great love story (just ignore that he knew her as a child because it gets really weird if you consider that too long...).
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